|Up and a continental breakfast at the hotel – guide left word he would be about a half hour late. Fernando shows up and we head off in a steady rain. We walk to St. Mark’s Square and after a bit of orientation we walk past the line and into the cathedral of St. Mark.
There were many interesting features and we were able to take some photographs. They is still a stain on the wall where people at church would lean back against the pillar. Then off to the Doge’s Palace and Fernando gives us some background on how the city was governed and how the chambers were set up to bring awe to anyone who entered.
We continue on and walk across the bridge of sighs – the last time convicts would see the outside before they went to their cells. Then down into the dungeon – damp and cramped. Food holes in the cells. Then back up a bunch of stairs and through some even older chambers with lots of artwork everywhere.
Our guide says goodbye so we look around a bit more then back to the hotel to rest up a bit then back out to eat a bite of pizza (Osteria N. 1 San Marco)for lunch. A pigeon or two came well into the restaurant while we were eating. We then go up the Bell Tower to look at Venice from above. Impressive but cold and windy.
Down to the boat dock and get the water bus for a trip around the Grand Canal. It actually only went to the end of the line then back… We got off a ways away from St. Marks and walked back through some nice parks and quiet areas – nowhere near as many people. Stop in a few shops as well for souvenirs then back to our hotel. We buy a couple bottles of wine and Ches decides to stay at the hotel so Kitty and I take a bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate and go down to where the gondolas dock and wait.
We waited there for about 45 minutes drinking a bottle of wine before a free one came with Alex as our gondolier. We headed off and he whistled under bridges and showed us the small canals, schools, a hospital, Casanova’s house (one of them) and other sights.
As he gets quiet I sneak out the ring I had made and asked Kitty to marry me. She said yes and Alex got all excited – I think Kitty did as well. Very romantic.
Once we dock he gives us directions to a “real” Italian restaurant where we have dinner. It was the Ristorante al Cantinon Cannargio. Sat next to an Australian couple (Michael and Annie) who chatted a bit. Annie has a painting in the Yoko Ono exhibit that just went to New York. Restaurant messes up my order but it gets straight pretty quickly.
We walk back through the town and get partly lost but eventually find St. Mark’s and head back to our hotel.